Jolly Cinema > 17:00


Piano accompaniment by

Antonio Coppola


Sunday 25/07/2021


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Before their initial encounter in 1921, Stan Laurel and Oliver ‘Babe’ Hardy both had a string of film credits to their names, released by various movie studios. Babe, having featured in more than 230 shorts, sometimes as the lead, but more often cast as a supporting villain, or ‘heavy’, was a well-seasoned professional in the movie business. At the same time, while only having just over a dozen films under his belt, Stan was headlining his own series of comedy shorts, trying to follow in the footsteps of his former music-hall colleague and roommate, who had become the biggest movie star in the world: Charlie Chaplin.
On the whole, The Lucky Dog is your average knockabout bit of silent slapstick, but it has a prominent place in movie history, being the very first film Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy appeared in together. Although the film is far from a typical Laurel and Hardy comedy, there are teasing glimpses throughout of the magic that would eventually follow.

Steve Massa

Cast and Credits

T. it.: Cane fortunato. Scen: Jess Robbins. F.: Irving G. Ries. Int.: Stan Laurel (il giovanotto), Oliver Hardy (il bandito), Florence Gilbert (la ragazza), Jack Lloyd (il fidanzato della ragazza). Prod.: Gilbert M. Anderson per Sun-Lite Pictures. DCP. Bn. 


Film Notes

In this hymn to motorised anarchy, sailors-on-leave Stan and Ollie rent a car and pick up the sassy team of Ruby and Thelma. One of the duo’s best two-reelers and a precursor to Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend, it gives an epic scale to the ‘collective destruction ritual’ routine when in the climactic scene the agitated drivers caught in a traffic jam abandon civility and, in the absence of cakes, throw whatever is within reach, eventually leading to yanking off car parts. After the wreckage comes a parade of surrealistically shaped cars, which chase Laurel and Hardy’s vehicle, or what’s left of it, into a tunnel for one last climax. Closer in spirit to Keaton’s mechano-comic antics than the duo’s more domesticated comedies, its outstanding qualities are owed to the supervising director Leo McCarey and cinematographer George Stevens, who was responsible for shooting 35 Laurel and Hardy shorts. Stevens, previously not so keen on comedy, observed: “Laurel and Hardy were marvellous clowns, but also humanists. Although the story was not always immediately present in their films, their humanism gave them validity.” He was surprised to find out how much truth and “considerable art” could be found in their acts. It stayed with Stevens for ever and he even directed their segment in Hollywood Party (1934). From the duo, and working as a cameraman in comedy in general, Stevens learned how to adapt the formula of ‘delayed encounter, delayed reaction, explosion’ – in other words, the timing of comedy. He also realised that script, camera setup and direction should go hand-in-hand and remain flexible. Finally, he looked at Laurel and Hardy and learned how to direct husband-and-wife scenes.

Ehsan Khoshbakht

Cast and Credits

Sog.: Leo McCarey. Scen.: H.M. Walker. F.: George Stevens. M.: Richard C. Currier. Int.: Stan Laurel (Stan), Oliver Hardy (Ollie), Thelma Hill (Thelma), Ruby Blaine (Ruby), Harry Bernard (camionista), Edgar Kennedy, Chet Brandenburg, Baldwin Cooke (automobilisti). Prod.: Hal Roach. DCP.